A major property developer in Vietnam has cheated 42,000 investors in a bond scam worth US$1.2 billion, the government said, as police urged victims to aid their investigation.

Van Thinh Phat and its affiliates were accused of illegally issuing bonds from 2018 to 2020 to raise money from investors, according to a statement on the government’s website late on Monday (Oct 2).

“We request investors come forward, helping the investigation agencies complete records and documents,” said Nguyen Van Thanh, deputy head of department for investigation of corruption and economics crime, under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, according to the statement.

More than 42,000 victims will have their rights protected, Thanh said.

The announcement comes after the arrest of Van Thinh Phat Group chairwoman Truong My Lan in October 2022.

Police launched an investigation into Lan and three other people for “fraudulent appropriation of property”.

Van Thinh Phat was founded in 1992, and its property portfolio includes high-end hotels, restaurants and luxury apartments. It has also invested in financial services.

Vietnam has seen a sweeping government crackdown on corrupt officials and members of the country’s business elite in recent years.

In March last year, authorities arrested entrepreneur Trinh Van Quyet – chairman of the FLC group that includes luxury resorts, golf courses and airline Bamboo Airways – for stock market manipulation.

Source: AFP